RUGBY UNION: A TIGHT and tense encounter between second and third in the Midlands 2 East (South) ended in defeat for Old Laurentians as they lost out 30-25 on the road at Oundle, reports by Bill Wallis.
Old Laurentians put on stirring late rally which earned them a bonus point and keeps them second in the table.
It did not start well for OLs when Grant Inch was injured in the warm up and flanker Charlie Seager had to do duty on the left wing, Ash Moore starting in the back row to leave just two replacements.
But Jon Bean kicked two early penalties to give OLs a 6-3 lead after 15 minutes before Oundle crossed for a try with 17 minutes gone, the goal points putting them ahead by 10-6, then adding a penalty for 13-6.
The visitors drew level, however, when Ben Roach doubled back behind a scrum to crash over near the posts and Bean converted but Oundle responded with a converted try to lead 20-13 at the break.
The hosts started the second half strongly with an early converted try but for most of the remaining 30 minutes it was OLs who held the upper hand.
Roach and Troy Owen came agonisingly close to scoring but Oundle’s defence, although sorely tested, was just holding on.
But they were unable to stop James Orbinson as a powerful run took him through several tacklers to score and again Bean converted to narrow the margin to 20-27.
Oundle then kicked another penalty to move up to 30 points and by this point OLs were now going all out to close the gap and James Orbinson got over the line when everyone except the referee thought he had touched down.
From the following five- metre scrum, Jon Bean lifted a perfectly judged crossfield kick to the far touchline where Jordan Bunn gathered it on the full to go over in the corner, but this time Bean’s conversion drifting narrowly wide.
OLs needed a win from this match to stay in touch with Peterborough who are now eight points clear at the top and looking ominously strong.
After a league break this weekend, the league leaders are OL’s next opponents when they visit Fenley Field January 12.